I enjoy cooking. But only till the time, everything in the kitchen goes as planned. A couple of bungled efforts and my enthusiasm limps out of the kitchen door and stays put outside, recuperating.
So this time around while I was out recuperating from the horrors of a vermicelli dish that stuck to the pan and refused to mix with the veggies it was garnished with, a wonderful news came along. I was shortlisted by BlogAdda to be a part of a Charity Cook-Off With Chef Kunal Kapoor, in association with Canolainfo. The invite said bloggers would be a part of a cook-off and the post the event, the food would be shared with the kids of an NGO.
Wow, just the thing to lure me back into the kitchen. Though in all honesty, I was nervous too. What if I was given some tough nut to crack. Some fancy Mediterranean dish, with a difficult-to-pronounce name? But all fears were allayed at the event venue – Banarsidas Chandiwala Institute of Hotel Management. The cook-off was not a cook off after all, for everyone was cooking the same thing – Moong Dal Ka Kalwa – and that too with a set recipe provided by Chef Kunal Kapoor. The halwa was to be cooked in canola oil and it was fun to see Chef Kapoor helping everyone with the cooking, cracking jokes and sharing recipe trivia with one and all.
Now before delving more into the recipe and how the halwa turned out, here’s a bit trivia on canola oil.
- Canola Oil comes from the crushed seeds of canola plant. These seeds are tiny and resemble poppy seeds, though they are brownish-black in colour.
- Canola and rapeseed plants look similar but their oils are very different. Canadians researchers used traditional plant breeding to eliminate the undesirable components of rapeseed and created ‘canola’ – a contraction of Canadian and ola.
- Researchers say canola is a very stable oil that doesn’t break down at high temperatures, so it’s ideal for sauteing, stir-frying, deep-frying and other high-heat applications.
- Its smoke point – the temperature at which it begins to smoke and degrade – is one of the highest of all cooking oils at 242-degree centigrade.
Now coming back to the cook-off, there was a twist to the recipe as well. Add fruit of your choice to the moong dal ka halwa – yes – and the fruit options provided were – orange, banana, and cheeko. I opted for the banana for I was unsure of the tangy twist an orange would add to my halwa. But after eating Ms. Deeba Rajpal’s tangy-sweet halwa, (she won the cook-off) I am sure the next time I try this recipe, I am garnishing it with oranges too.
Post the fun cooking event, it was time to share the sweet dish with the perky kids at Katha, an NGO that works in the field of community development, child welfare, education, and literature. The kids not just enjoyed the lunch sponsored by Canolainfo, but also had many a serving of the moong daal halwa, and needless to say, their constant demand for more halwa was well worth us cooks’ efforts.
P.S. Masterchef Kunal Kapoor’s Moong Daal Halwa recipe in the next post.
The Charity Cook-Off with Masterchef Kunal Kapoor was organised by Canola Oil. For more information about Canola, you can check this website.